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December 8, 2008

Taproot - Our Long Road Home review

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Label: Velvet Hammer

Call me naive but I really don’t get this album. On the plus side....It sounds nothing like Taproot’s rap rock influenced earlier releases, but on the negative’s just not that memorable! There are some good moments...but the majority of the album has been heard before.

“Our Long Road Home” is an album I have eagerly been anticipating for some time now. 2005’s “Blue-Sky Research” was a good album. Definitely not a perfect album....but I did enjoy most parts of it. It was somewhat original and it showed a more mature Taproot! “Our Long Road Home” plays in a similar vein to “Blue-Sky Research” but not as mature. It would have made more sense to release “Our Long Road Home” before “Blue-Sky Research”.....I don’t just feels like Taproot have taken a small step backwards and ended up stepping in dog shit!

With that said, “Path Less Taken” is probably one of the better songs Taproot has ever written. If the entire album rocked like that song does we would have one hell of an album! But unfortunately, the rest of “Our Long Road Home”, besides one or two somewhat enjoyable songs, is very forgettable!

The main problem with “Our Long Road Home” is that it definitely won’t give Taproot any success! While it is softer and less intricate, it still will not impress the radio listeners ears when bands like Daughtry, Maroon 5 and Linkin Park are pretty much as hard rock as the radio listeners can take! I’m just not sure what Taproot was trying to achieve.

Maybe this album is a grower! But after six listens I still can’t find more than three memorable moments! If Taproot want to start writing songs that will receive more airplay....then they need to do more than just lower the distortion! For instance.....maybe they can try to write something good! Just a thought....

Rating: 3/5
Choice Lyric: “Why not believe in making change?”
Download: Path Less Taken, Wherever I Stand
Random Trivia: Fred Durst offered Taproot their first record contract...which they declined!

Fall Out Boy - Folie à Deux review

Release Date: 12/16/2008
Label: Decaydance Records

The last remaining scrap of Fall Out Boys original punk sound was defiantly shown on 2007’s “Infinity On High”. Now... just under two years later, “Folie à Deux” shows a much more 80’s pop influenced band. Due to the success of songs such as ”I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)” , “Thnks fr th Mmrs" and all the other gayer sounding ones, Fall Out Boy have decided to change all their music into....the gayer sounding ones!

This cowardly move should probably cause them to lose their biggest fans....but of course it won’t. Fall Out Boy could probably release an album featuring nothing but a kazoo, some bubble wrap and fart noises and their fans would probably still love it! That’s because Fall Out Boy is more of a trend than a’s fashionable to be holding a Fall Out Boy’s cool! So when their fans realise that they’re in it for nothing more than money, fame and’d better jump on the next bandwagon quick or you’ll be an outcast faster than you can say “Oh yeah that Pete Wentz guy really doesn’t have much talent does he?”

From start to finish “Folie à Deux” plays a lot like a Duran Duran record. Boring....repetitive...sappy! There are a few moments capable of grabbing minor attention but all in all nothing that stands out. Nothing that deserves to win any awards....nothing that deserves to make Fall Out Boy another zillion dollars! But of course it will!

On the plus side, Patrick Stump’s vocals are still red hot! This guy can sing! And if this album sounded more like their previous works I would probably get a chance to enjoy his vocals even more!

Without a doubt this will be the hottest accessory of 2008....everyone will own it...everyone will think they love it! Everyone will help buy another house for Pete Wentz...and a bigger wedding ring for Ashlee Simpson! Well done!

Rating: 1/5
Choice Lyric: “I'm not a chance, but a heat wave in your pants”
Download: "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes"
Random Trivia: "Folie à Deux" is a French term which translates to "a madness shared by two".

Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone review

Release Date: 08/26/2008
Label: Roadrunner Records

Slipknot is one of those bands that people like because a lot of other people like them... and those other people like them because they a lot of other, other people like them... and those other, other people like them because they wear masks....and masks are cool.....right?

One of the first things I noticed when listening to “All Hope Is Gone” is that there isn’t really many tracks on here that sound like Slipknot. Sure the percussion is still there and Corey’s voice is still the same, but these songs just aren’t the Slipknot I remember...they’re more like the Stone Sour I chose to forget!

A lot of people hated 2004‘s “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)” when it was released because there were fewer screams and more singing. I actually liked it! But “All Hope Is Gone” has turned Slipknot into something they were never supposed to be. This album has turned Slipknot into a more emotional, melodic band instead of an angry, “Fuck the world!” band.

The whole point of Stone Sour, Murderdolls, To My Surprise and all the other side projects was to let band members play another style of music without letting it affect Slipknot. Obviously this hasn’t happened!

Track one on “All Hope Is Gone” is the heaviest song on the album, but for the next fifty minutes you’ll be searching for another. There are no real headbanging moments on here! The last thing I want to see is a bunch of fans at a slipknot gig looking confused as they try to figure out when exactly they should begin moshing.

All hope is gone of Slipknots next album being worth the money you’ll spend on it!

Rating: 2/5
Choice Lyric: “What if god doesn't care?”
Download: Gematria (The Killing Name), All Hope Is Gone
Random Trivia: Slipknot has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards and has won once.

December 4, 2008

The Butterfly Effect - Final Conversation Of Kings review

Release Date: 09/20/2008
Label: Village Roadshow Music

“Final Conversation Of Kings” has been referred to as a big step forward for The Butterfly Effect. Well if adding a trumpet to a few songs is a step forward they The Mighty Mighty Bosstones would still be tearing up the charts today! But where are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones? Who gives a shit?! They sucked more than a Chinese hooker!

I want to love this album....I really do! I’m a huge fan of all of The Butterfly Effect’s previous work, but I just can’t get into this one. It doesn’t feel right. It’s still The Butterfly Effect but it’s not them at the same time. Kind of like that girl who had the sex change. They’re still in there somewhere....but not how they used to be!

The Butterfly Effect have pretty much thrown away their heavier side in a possible attempt to be more accessible to the radio listening wieners of the world. I’m not so sure they have achieved this. Yes, their songs are a little easier on the fragile ears of said wieners, but I still can’t see them understanding this type of music.

All in all this album is alright, but I really wanted more from one of my favourite bands. Alright just isn’t quite good enough. The Butterfly Effect have lost the majority of their edge and have left their fans with a sappy, semi-mainstream album that will probably chart reasonably well but still not well enough to provide them with massive success. This album won’t sink the ship but it won’t blow much wind into the sails either. Check it out for yourself....I hope you like it more than I did!

Rating: 2/5
Choice Lyric: “Don't leave me out here one more day on my own!”
Download: Room Without a View, In These Hands
Random Trivia: Final Converstaion Of Kings debut at no. 3 on the Australian music sales charts

Metallica - Death Magnetic review

Release Date: 09/12/2008
Label: Warner Bros. Records

The vast majority of Metallica “fans” already hated this album long before its release date. Internet message boards have been clogged with the faint squeals of these nerds saying “Metallica is dead”, “They haven’t been good since Justice”, “To convert to a level three monk you need the blue key!”, the usual dribble that comes prior to any Metallica release.

So why do these so called fans still buy the album as soon as it hits stores? Because there’s probably nothing good on TV anyway...and it is a perfect excuse to walk off the deep vein thrombosis and see the suns natural light gently cascade over their freakishly white skin...if only for the few minutes it takes for them to drag themselves to the music store. But is there any chance that these abominations of human beings could be right this time?

Of course fucking not!! This is Metallica’s best work since “Master Of Puppets” and its only let down is its lousy mixing and mastering. Why on earth would anyone want an album so loud that the snare drum distorts? It makes no sense to me! But at least it beats the production value of 2003’s “St. Anger”.

The songs on “Death Magnetic” are awesome. Plenty of changes and yes, the guitar solos are back! “That Was Just Your Life” has fast become, not only my favourite song from this album, but Metallica’s entire career! Yes I’m comparing it to the likes of “Master Of Puppets”, but this album has something that “Master Of Puppets” didn’t have. A big fucking groove! There are countless moments on “Death Magnetic” where you will find yourself jumping, headbanging and dancing along to the fat riffs largely inspired by Rob Trujillo’s new influence on the band. It’s just a shame that in production his bass has become barely audible.

So in conclusion all you message board nerds who don’t have “Death Magnetic” yet, wash your retainers, polish your booger picking fingers, put on your coke bottle glasses and rainbow suspenders, pull your pants up as high as you can and get your white ass to the record store now! You will not be disappointed....but I’m sure we will all hear about it if you are!

Rating: 5/5
Choice Lyric: “See through the skin the bones they all rattle !”
Download: That Was Just Your Life, The Day That Never Comes
Random Trivia: Death Magnetic sold 490,000 copies in just three days of availability

December 1, 2008

Mudvayne - The New Game review

Release Date: 11/18/2008
Label: Epic Records

I find it hard to imagine anyone listing Mudvayne as their favourite band ever! It's about as likely as someone listing David Spade as their all time favourite actor. Sure, they both have their golden moments, but anyone who would consider them "favourites" really isn't looking hard enough!

The Immediate thing you will notice when spinning "The New Game" for the first time is that it really isn't much of a "New Game"at all. Much like when Mrs. Pacman was released. Giving Pacman a bow does not change the Mudvayne less technical, boring songs does not change the game fact, they've been doing it for three albums now.

In all honesty, there are some decent tracks on here, but decent is about as good as it gets. You'll probably find yourself saying, "Well.....I'd rather listen to this than the BeeGees!" Which I'm quite sure is not what Mudvayne intended when they wrote this album. Or maybe it is...I mean, if they want to keep churning out albums that provide just enough sales to churn out another one.....then job well done! We won't be seeing Mudvayne at the Grammys anytime soon.

So, by all means purchase this album if you were blown away by "Lost And Found" three years ago, and prepare to be blown away again. Just don't expect too many others to share your enthusiasm! Keep it to yourself and enjoy your secret shame....loser!

Rating: 2/5
Choice Lyric: “Always just the same ol' thing!”
Download: Fish Out Of Water, The Hate In Me
Random Trivia: Mudvayne formed in Illinois in 1996

November 12, 2007

The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works review

Release Date: 11/13/2007
Label: Relapse

The Dillinger Escape Plan have always been a very unique band. They were the originators of mathcore, a style of metalcore recognized for a high level of technical musicianship, odd time signatures and unusual song structures. Though this may not be reason enough for people to pay them any attention, I assure you that any attention they receive is defiantly earned.

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s last album, “Miss Machine” was a huge breakthrough for the quintet but was seriously shunned by a vast majority of their long time followers. Despite the fact that “Miss Machine” was receiving five star reviews everywhere anyone was to look, fans still thought of this album as a much more watered down version of what once was. “Miss Machine” added an element to The Dillinger Escape Plan which was never their before, and that was singing. Don’t get me wrong, “Miss Machine” isn’t the kind of album you can play at the local bingo hall on senior citizens night. It’s brutal, complex and often very hard on the ears. But it’s the moments of beauty behind the madness, the contrast of beautiful and ugly that made this album so amazing.

Three years later The Dillinger Escape Plan releases their third full length album, “Ire Works”. Let me tell you, if the fans hated “Miss Machine” they are not going to be overly ecstatic about this album either. “Ire Works” is a huge step forward for The Dillinger Escape Plan. Not only does it flow in much the same vein as “Miss Machine” but it improves the formula.

Hardcore DEP is still here but the melodic aspects of “Ire Works” are absolutely amazing. This is a band that knows what they are doing, knows what they want to write and couldn’t give a damn about anyone who says it’s not what they were expecting. There is a much wider range of musical influences present on “Ire Works” than anything DEP have previously done. Therefore this album is likely to see DEP’s popularity rise once again as new fans are introduced to their unique sound. It’s time for the crying fans to except the fact that The Dillenger Escape Plan have progressed and for the better!

Rating: 5/5
Choice Lyric:
“Your heart was trying to bleed and you're taking the right road if you're talking to me”
Download: Milk Lizard, Mouth Of Ghosts
Random Trivia: Their name is a reference to famous bank robber John Dillinger.

October 26, 2007

Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold review

Release Date: 30/10/2007
Label: Warner Bros. Records

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this album for some time now. Avenged Sevenfold have to be one of my favorite bands, and what they have done for the hard rock and metal scene of late is astounding. Sure, they have their haters! Of course they do! They were on MTV, which is a huge demerit considering they are essentially a metal band. Right? No…being popular is no reason to hate something. Metal deserves to be heard and Avenged Sevenfold are taking it to the masses!

This album is outstanding! Not only will it kick your ass all over the room but it can bring you to tears with its beautiful melodies. Avenged Sevenfold have shown some amazing growth, even more so than they showed on ‘City Of Evil’. This album really proves the talent and musicianship these guys have and it’s a sorely desired trait for a metal band to have these days.

Of course, with their popularity this album is going to raise further debate between Avenged Sevenfold’s own fans! The ones who call themselves fans but really only enjoy “Waking The Fallen”. “City Of Evil” fans will love this album while “Waking The Fallen” fans may be just as disappointed with this album as they were with the previous one. I for one love every Avenged Sevenfold album! Yes their sound has changed a bit since “Sounding The Seventh Trumpet” but its changed for the better! Their song writing has defiantly improved, now they have a broader style. Not just limiting themselves to playing heavy all the time.

So go out and buy this album. Support Avenged Sevenfold. Make them more popular! Give them more people who hate them!

Rating: 5/5
Choice Lyric:
“Shh be quiet, you might piss somebody off!”
Download: A Little Piece Of Heaven, Afterlife, Dear God
Random Trivia: The album was delayed by two weeks in order to provide more time to complete bonus material and production for the record.

October 18, 2007

Alter Bridge - Blackbird review

Release Date: 10/09/2007
Label: Universal Republic Records

Alter Bridge are back with album number two…but does it deserve your attention?

I would say that minor attention is deserved. The fact is, if you liked “One Day Remains” you will probably like “Blackbird” too. Most of the songs are attacked in much the same way….although one could say this album is slightly (very slightly) heavier than their previous effort. Still, “Blackbird” rarely offers anything new to the ears. It’s the same thing Alter Bridge have been doing since “One Day Remains” which is also very similar to the thing Creed was doing before them.

So whilst listening to “Blackbird”, yes there might be a cool guitar solo there…and yes Myles Kennedy can sing some pretty amazing notes….but where’s the progress? Improve the sound! Grow!

The biggest letdown on “Blackbird”, or any Alter Bridge album, is always going to be the ballads. If there was a book called “How to write predictable soft-rock ballads for depressed teenagers with no hope for future happiness, who still live at home in the basement of their newly divorced mothers house while she constantly invites over new men, referring to them only as ‘Uncle Ted’ or ‘Uncle Susan’…For Dummies” then this would be Alter Bridge’s bible! Yes they are emotional and somewhat beautiful….but they are stale and boring…like old crackers.

All in all, if you liked “One Day Remains” then go out and buy “Blackbird”. You’ll feel exactly the same afterwards!

Oh by the way….this might be the first review of an Alter Bridge album that doesn’t mention Scott Stapp and his crappy vocals. Well…it was before I wrote that sentence…….shit!

Rating: 3/5
Choice Lyric: “The damned are done believing”
Download: Ties That Bind, Come To Life
Random Trivia: The name Alter Bridge comes from a bridge on Alter Road, close to Mark Tremonti's childhood home.

October 8, 2007

Devon Townsend - Ziltoid The Omniscient review

Release Date: 05/21/2007
Label: Hevy Devy Records

What the shit is this? In the simplest explanation I can possibly write this would be a concept album from Devon Townsend (Strapping Young Lad) about a guitar playing alien arriving on Earth in search of the perfect cup of coffee. So you know…the usual kind of thing. I haven’t really heard anything like this before. In fact, one could say this is one of the most elaborate concept albums of all time…even if the story is kind of lame.

Devon Townsend takes care of all the writing, production and mixing as well as playing all instruments…besides the drums which he did program! The funny thing is, as lame as I thought this album was going to be it actual works! While the story may be a joke the music side of it certainly is not. Devon combines elements of all his previous work creating an album which at times can be brutally heavy while still leaving moments of beautiful atmospheric melody. All the songs fit together perfectly and along with the included booklet it’s quite easy to be sucked in with the story. Also, top marks must be given to Mr Townsend for creating a concept album with a surprise twist at the end! I didn’t see it coming! I’m sure that M. Night Shyamalan would be proud!

To sum up, if guitar playing, coffee drinking aliens and brutal but still melodic music is something you are interested in then Ziltoid The Omniscient might just be your cup of tea…umm coffee.

Rating: 4/5
Choice Lyric: “You shall fetch me your universes ultimate cup of coffee...Black! You have five Earth minutes, Make it perfect!”
Download: ZTO, Ziltoidia Attaxx!!